I recently watched an episode of Daniel Sloss’ live shows on Netflix. His episode, Jigsaw, really resonated with me. He explains that our lives can be pictured as individual jigsaw puzzles. We piece them together slowly through life experiences and the lessons we learn. We have no finished product to model our jigsaws after, we just guess along the way and fit certain pieces in our jigsaw that make sense at the time. Daniel also goes through his cynical view on love and how we try to fit loved ones into our personal jigsaws.
One of his powerful messages is that sometimes, instead of finding people that fit perfectly with us, we jam our jigsaw pieces together with someone, hoping it will work.
“We’re so trying to be an adult that some of us will take the wrong person, the wrong jigsaw piece and just fucking jam them into our jigsaws anyway, denying that they clearly don’t fit.”
I think a lot of us could agree that at some point in our lives, we believed we would rather have someone than no one at all. Even if they do not treat us right. Forcing jigsaw pieces together with someone doesn’t seem too harmful in the moment. It gives you temporary bliss.
Finally, I’m with this person. Everything feels right. I feel complete.
In reality, it tarnishes your whole jigsaw. Breaking pieces and compromising others. The worst is believing that you deserve the bare minimum that this forced person provides.
“If you only love yourself at 20 percent, that means somebody can come along and love you 30 percent. You’re like ‘wow, that's so much.’ It’s literally less than half.”
Forced jigsaws can alter how you see yourself. You rationalize their poor behavior, believe you won’t find someone else, and rely your sense of self worth on how much they validate you and the attention they give you.
Sloss is right, it’s simply not worth it. Being alone is more productive than shattering your jigsaw for one person that ultimately won’t stick around.
“Why am I happier when I’m alone?”
I agree with this in a way. I have become so comfortable with being independent. Although it’s nice to share experiences with someone, I can give myself everything I need until someone goes above and beyond that.
It’s an amazing feeling to become so comfortable with being alone to the point where you are careful with who you spend your time with. I have learned that there is no need to disrupt your peace for someone who doesn’t fit your jigsaw perfectly.
I wanted to visually represent the situation of jigsaw pieces being forced together: The bittersweet moment of knowing someone isn’t right for you but ignoring it. These images can be interpreted in any way, but I wanted to represent the long term emotional effects of staying with someone that doesn’t fit you.
Chipped edges, loss of life and color, and shrinking into a smaller version of yourself.